Globally, C-suites and senior business leaders have prioritized cloud adoption. A similar pattern has emerged in Indian businesses, but…

Even though MSMEs have started embraced cloud computing, there is still a reluctance among Indian companies to trust the cloud.

According to NASSCOM, cloud technology will account for 5% to 8% of GDP by 2026 and has the potential to create unprecedented growth in employment opportunities in this shared digital infrastructure space (AKA the cloud).

Private ventures with restricted framework and labor have gone to on-demand pay-per-use cloud arrangements. They are utilizing cloud to either expand their business capacities utilizing SaaS or simply involving cloud for storage. One way or the other, the cloud has become basic for MSMEs.

So why the reluctance? Sharad Kumar, Head of Digital Enablement – India, Insight shares with DigiconAsia some trends and reasons why MSMEs are not willing to adopt the cloud.

Do you think that the cloud has reached even the smallest business owners?

Sharad: The Indian government has been supporting cloud adoption by devising policies and providing support to MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) by creating an appropriate ecosystem.

The ‘Digital MSME’ and the ‘Digital India program’ has led the transformation for Indian businesses and have encouraged them to use Cloud platforms for communications and information technology applications.

These initiatives have helped MSMEs to cut on infrastructure CAPEX and move to use cutting-edge applications and infrastructure economically.

Sharad Kumar, Head of Digital Enablement – India, Insight

What are the major reasons SMEs are not willing to adopt the cloud?

Sharad: While there are multiple benefits from adopting the cloud, there are various challenges as well that our Indian businesses need to take care of – prioritization of migration, lack of planning, employee training, and unrealistic timelines.

One of the common myths among businesses is to have immediate cost savings from their adoption of cloud platforms. On the contrary, there are costs associated with various challenges outlined above but if implemented strategically, investments will not only have better returns but will help businesses with productivity and scalability.

What are your views on the perception of customers that the ‘cloud is never safe’? Has it changed? 

Sharad: A vast number of global businesses have adopted cloud services, while in India, there is still a wide gap in the security precautions being applied which has deterred Indian organizations from adopting cloud services. A significant proportion of enterprises continue to hold the belief that cloud governance and security measures impede their ability to effectively safeguard sensitive data within the cloud environment.

This is changing with a strong push from the government as it helps them to deliver their services in an efficient way and it also allows them to tap into AI/ML, high-performance computing and analytics capabilities. 

Implementing key technologies for cloud security like encryption, identity and access management including identity provider (IdP), single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA), access control and firewalls can help mitigate several such cloud risks. 

As a part of ongoing efforts, several organizations are implementing these cloud security practices:

    • Proper configuration of security settings for cloud servers
    • Consistent security policies across data centers
    • Backup plans
    • User and employee education

Other than BFSI and NBFC, what are the key industries that are about to deploy cloud solutions in a massive way?

Sharad: To improve productivity and scalability, many sectors in India are actively embracing cloud computing.

E-commerce businesses use cloud infrastructure to efficiently handle shifting consumer needs, even though the BFSI and NBFC sector leads in cloud adoption.

Healthcare is another important industry that uses the cloud for safely processing and storing patient data. We can also see that the manufacturing, retail, and telecom industries use cloud platforms significantly to facilitate the mass use of their digital services.

How much awareness is created among small business owners to adopt cloud in vast numbers?

Sharad: Cloud providers are providing newsletters, seminars, and conducting various events through which Indian businesses can learn what mature cloud players are doing right and create appropriate internal knowledge within their organization.